From Te Atatu Rugby Football & Sports Club Inc. to The Waitakere City Rugby Football Sports Club Inc.
It all Began..
In June 1962, The Auckland Rugby Union advertised for persons interested in forming a rugby club in the Te Atatu area and a community meeting later in the year captured the interest of community members to form the Te Atatu Rugby Club as it was known. The founding office holders were Patron Mr A Clarke; Secretary Mr R. E Davies; Assistant Secretary Mr W Aitchison; Treasurer M. W Horne.
The inaugural meeting of the new club was held on October 1 1962 and by 1963, the first teams had formed and played in Auckland Rugby Union competition with three boys teams, based at Te Atatu Park, Te Atatu North which was absent the club rooms and facilities that the club enjoys today.
The original colours were maroon, later changed to maroon and white.
The Club had good growth through the early years and gained direct affiliation to the Auckland Rugby Union in 1967 and by 1969 had formed a first grade side. Initially the club had fielded teams in the Auckland Rugby Union 3rd division (at a time when Auckland Rugby Union had 33 clubs as members), eventually the clubs top team was promoted to 2nd division and the club graduated to a first division senior side in 1982.During the early 70s the clubs junior numbers were booming, there were 20 junior sides entered in one year. Club officials were mindful that Te Atatu Park was inadequate for the clubs future needs and requirements. So discussions started with Waitemata County Council regarding other possible grounds for the clubs future.
By 1971 Te Atatu Club's first senior side had been formed and about this time, the club had been given full use of Erceg Park later named Te Atatu South Park by way of an agreement with the Waitemata County Council.
Te Atatu Club purchased a piece of land 4639m2 at 40 Kerrie Ave, Te Atatu South adjacent to the park (it is understood the purchase prices was circa $8,000 where it could build a club headquarters and facilities.Construction of a stage one building took place using volunteer labour and contributions of the club to develop a block onsite that contained change rooms, showers, toilets, and a boiler room (erected at a cost $13,782 plus significant amounts of volunteer and in kind contributions).
After a period of getting by using the change rooms for after match functions the club made the decision to purchase 2 prefab class rooms from Hobsonville School (owned by the Education Department). These prefabs were joined together and served as club HQ for many years.
Construction of the stage two building was adjacent to prefabs and was built above the original stage one building. The prefabs which had served as clubrooms were sold to the Glen Eden Boxing Club.During the construction, the club employed Denis Bolland as project manager but the majority of work was undertaken by largely volunteer club members and their families and supporters.In the mid 70s the new 850m 2 building was completed and the club now proudly owned a modern facility that contained 2 Lounges (a lower with a bar and upper lounge with a bar), a large kitchen and dining area, a new shower block with change rooms, toilets and ablutions.
Several club players and members served on committees and in 1981 Malcolm Dick took higher honours being elected President of Auckland Rugby Union for a 3 year term. In 1983 club member and founding Treasurer Max Horne was elected Vice President of Auckland Rugby Union and Malcolm Dick became Chairman of the Auckland Rugby Union.
Malcolm was later elected to the New Zealand Rugby Union and became deputy Chairman.
In 1994 the Waitakere City Athletic Club was starting to fall behind without an all weather track by comparison to other clubs in the region. An approach was made by the Te Atatu & Waitemata Rugby Clubs regarding the amalgamation of the 3 clubs. With the venue the Athletic Club leased and the Athletic Clubs ground rights to a field (with lease rights till 2047) the proposition of a merger was attractive to the Rugby Clubs. Waitemata Rugby Club withdrew from these early negotiations and in June 1998 it was agreed that negotiations continue without Waitemata between Te Atatu Rugby Football Club and the Waitakere City Athletic Club.
By the mid-90s the Te Atatu clubs premier rugby was played at the future home of Waitakere Stadium whilst the remaining grades continued to play at Te Atatu South Park.Between 1994 and 1998 the land (now known as Fields 2 and 3) at The Trust Stadium were purchased by the Waitakere City Council.Te Atatu Rugby changed its name to Waitakere City Rugby Football & Sports Club Inc. to reflect the name of the new Waitakere City In 1999.
February 2000 brought a Special General Meeting, the club moved that "The Waitakere City Rugby & Sports Club Inc Inc amalgamate with Waitakere City Athletic Club subject to extra playing fields being developed at Waitakere Stadium and an agreement be reached with the Waitakere City Council on all matters pertaining to use and management of the grounds and stadium".
The reasons noted for amalgamation and a shift to the Stadium were: a) Moving to a main road position to give the club a higher profile b) Opportunity to eliminate club debt c) Much improved playing surfaces and environment d) Availability of indoor training facilities and weight lifting gymnasium e) Access to specialist coaches on site re athletic training if required f) Higher profile and better overall facilities should assist in attracting players (senior and Junior), coaches, members etc g) No neighbours re noise issues h) Sponsorship attraction should be greater with merged clubs and more prominent position i) The formation of The Waitakere City Rugby & Athletic Trust would allow the Committee to concentrate on administering rugby without distraction.
Discussions continued to take place regarding building a new sporting complex, demolishing the existing athletic club structure, and further development of an all weather athletic track surface and playing fields 2 and 3. A potential partnership with Waitakere City Athletic Club, Waitakere City Rugby Football & Sports Club Inc. and creation of a new multi-use multisport complex on the site was proposed.
On 28 August 2002, the Athletic Club and the Waitakere City Rugby Club executed a Deed creating The Waitakere City Rugby & Athletic Trust, on the board of which each club had equal representation. The initial trustees were Rex Davy and Malcolm Dick (representing Rugby) and Ron Hanson and Roy Williams (representing Athletics). The Trust was formed with the intention that it would hold the rights for the sublease of the clubrooms and the rights relating to the indoor running track.
The Trust took leases with the Stadium Trust for occupation in The Trusts Stadium main building. This maintained a governance model that saw The Rugby and Athletic Trust manage and govern the shared facilities (clubrooms) and assets whilst maintain the independent clubs identity and history. Five hundred and fifty thousand dollars was raised by The Rugby & Athletic Trust for the Interior Development of the Clubrooms.The Club also still owned the 4639m2 of adjacent land at Te Atatu South Park on which it had built clubrooms. The club sold this land for $920,000 on 4 June 2004.
The Rugby & Athletics Trust agreement and exchange of funds
The Rugby & Athletic Trust agreement formed with athletics club was that of $920,000 from sale of Waitakere City Rugby Club building would be used to pay off mortgages of Waitakere City Rugby Club (becoming debt free). Sixty thousand dollars was paid to Athletics to cover a loss of income whilst they couldn't open their club building during demolition. The leftover of sales funds would be divided between each club with Rugby paying Athletics to recognize the advantages Waitakere City Athletic Club held with the ground lease till 2047 that Waitakere City Rugby Club would also benefit from.
Since the completion of The Trusts Stadium's Arena The Rugby & Athletic Trust has invested further in their tenure in the facility with a purchase of rights and a lease to the Rex Davy Lounge at $42,000 and a further investment in a lease of the Strength Development Area on the basement level traded against rights The Rugby & Athletic Trust had over a future development area on the basement now occupied by the Stadium Trust and their tenants. These lease rights were purchased $46,000 as per the agreement in The Rugby & Athletic Trusts original lease for the Future Development Area.
The merger of the Athletics and Rugby effectively paved the way for an agreement to surrender Athletics' occupancy rights and thereby free up the land area required to locate the stadium building in its present optimal position. It was always intended that Rugby and Athletics as Equity Partners would be the regular seasonal code users of the Stadium Fields.
The Rugby & Athletic Trust has invested further in their tenure in the facility with a move of clubroom premises to the grandstand building in early 2023. The new clubrooms offer fantastic views of the main field and track area.
Waitakere City Rugby Football & Sports Club Inc Trusts Arena,
Grandstand, 65-67 Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland | PO Box 21 241, Henderson, Auckland
Telephone Club 0275625446 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org